Kazakhstan horrified as organizers play ‘Borat’ parody anthem at Kuwait sporting event
Maria Dmitrienko was supposed to be excited to win the gold medal for Kazakhstan at the Arab Shooting Championships in Kuwait Thursday. Instead, when she stood on the stage, she stood emotionless as the organizers played Sacha Baron Cohen’s parody anthem from 2006’s Borat instead of the real national anthem.
The BBC reported that the team asked for an apology from the organizers, who quickly said that they downloaded it by mistake. In the song and in the film, Cohen portrayed Kazakhstan as a backward country. As the song played, Dmitrienko stood emotionless and smirked when it ended.
Her coach was not pleased, though. Coach Anvar Yunusmetov told Kazhak media that the organizers botched the Serbian theme before. When Dmitrienko was given her medal, "She got up on to the pedestal and they played a completely different anthem, offensive to Kazakhstan,” Yunusmetov said.
According to The Associated Press, the Kazhak government has also slammed the organizers. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov told the media that the incident was “a scandal and demands a thorough investigation, which we intend to conduct.”
A member of the shooting team also said that Asian Shooting Federation President Sheikh Salman al-Sabah has apologized, recognizing that it was a mistake.
When Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was released around the world in 2006, the Kazakh government immediately criticized the film, which was nominated for an Oscar for its screenplay. Kazakhstan banned the film and even threatened legal action against Cohen.
Ironically, the BBC notes that Kuwait also banned the film.
You can watch the incident below: